Zimbabwe Council of Churches in partnership with Power FM and youth associations met yesterday to deliberate on Gender Based Violence.

Why focus on women when its “GBV?”

Gender-based violence has been one of the most discussed issues in Zimbabwe and the world at large. Despite all the time and effort invested in spreading awareness cases of GBV continue to rise. However this movement seems to focus on the violence perpetrated towards women and does not bring men in the picture, Say what, ZRP and Zimbabwe Gender Commission highlighted that the statistics show that most victims are women.

Why are men not comfortable to report cases of violence?

The youth raised a crucial point that when men are abused by women they normally do not feel comfortable to report the case. Ego and fear of being labeled as the weak have attributed to most men covering up when they are being abused. Assistant Sengwe from ZRP highlighted that everyone should report cases of violence and that ZRP and the government have come with a victim friendly unit that deals with cases of abuse.

 Why are the police protecting culprits?

Rumbidzai Taruvinga from Salvation pointed out that lecturers are abusing students and the police are assisting in protecting these culprits. She alluded that dockets of such cases are going missing at Central Police Station and the students will face further abuse from other lecturers and that one may start having low grades. Taruvinga questioned why the security forces are not protecting the students. Sengwe urged students to make use of the victim friendly unit and he promised to have such cases looked into.

Who said men cannot show emotions?

Daphne Jena from Childline Zimbabwe blamed parents and guardians for how they groom children. She added that verbal appellation has played a part in leading men and boys not to report cases of abuse. Jena pointed out that boys grow up being told that, “men do not cry” hence men do not feel comfortable to express their emotions in public.

Violence is not power

Patriarchy is also another factor that has caused violence to be perpetuated. The society has designed the aspect that men are powerful and that they are heads of households. This has given the man the upper hand and causing them to think that violence is another way of showcasing their power. This is the reason why women are most victims of violence because men perceive it as a way of standing their ground of supremacy.

Churches urged to groom men according to the scriptures

The church and the civil society have a gap to fill in eradicating gender-based violence the church was urged to portray Jesus as the perfect man and to use the scripture to denounce the violence of any nature.